Improving Access to School Health Services for Children and Adolescent Girls in Gagra, Buner - HDF x USAID Partnership
Project Period: July 2022 – August 2023
Our Goal: To improve the health, hygiene and nutrition status of school children in Tehsil Gagra, District Buner, KP
Focus on child health is a very important component of HDF Education & Literacy and Health & Wellness program. HDF has been successfully running a large-scale student-centered School Health Program since its inception, a key component of which caters to children, especially adolescent girls. Under the auspices of U.S. Agency for International Development – USAID’s New Partnerships Initiative (NPI EXPAND), HDF instigated a Human Development Activity (HDA) to improve health, hygiene and nutrition among the 25,000 school children and adolescent girls in Buner district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province through implementing a school health program.
School Health Program: Ensuring Student Well-Being in Buner
HDF spearheaded a holistic school health program, prioritizing the well-being of school-going children. Our dedicated health screening team meticulously examined students for ear, eye and overall health conditions. Immediate intervention was ensured as students received necessary medications, prescriptions and eyeglasses. These children were provided with iron/IFA supplements and multivitamins to improve their immunity and protect them from chronic illnesses. Furthermore, the health teams administered deworming of all children aged between 5-15 years in coordination with the KP Health Department. Personal hygiene sessions were meticulously conducted. Emphasizing the importance of regular check-ups, especially for school-aged children, our program aimed to instill a culture of early detection and timely treatment.
AGAH Campaign: Empowering Adolescent Health with Confidence
Our AGAH (Adolescent Girls Awareness on Health) campaign encouraged personal health and menstrual hygiene management (MHM) among adolescent girls. The stigmas and taboos linked with menstruation lead to a culture of silence on the topic resulting in limited information on MHM for adolescents, affecting girls’ health and education, and their social lives. It also leads to school dropouts and poor attendance. The campaign title, ‘AGAH’, is inspired from the Urdu word (آگاه) meaning ‘awareness’. A behavior change communication (BCC) campaign, AGAH promoted awareness on MHM through radio, 2D animated videos and interpersonal communication, reaching 3,000 adolescent girls across 18 schools in Buner. With a vision to break barriers, the campaign successfully equipped young girls with vital knowledge, empowering them to manage their health and embrace a limitless future.
Teachers’ Training: Promoting Educators as Health Champions
HDF took a significant step in enhancing community well-being by conducting a comprehensive training program for both public and private school teachers, with a focus on Child Health Screening, WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), MHM (Menstrual Hygiene Management), Food & Nutrition, and Respiratory Hygiene. A total of 300 teachers graduated from this program, emerging as Master Trainers equipped to guide their colleagues and implement health and hygiene practices within their schools. Aiming to create a sustainable ripple effect, the goal of the project was not only to impact individual classrooms but to cultivate a broader culture of health and hygiene across educational institutions in Buner.
Radio Program on Health and Hygiene Awareness Launched Through FM 92.2 in Urdu and Pashto
Heartiest Gratitude to Key District Govt. Departments for Contributing to Our Project’s Success
- District Health Department, Buner, KP
- District Health Office, Buner, KP
- District Headquarters Hospital, Daggar Buner, KP
- Office of the District Education Officer (Female), Buner, KP
- Office of the District Education Officer (Male), Buner, KP
- Pakistan Bait ul Mal District Office, Buner, KP
- Social Welfare Department, District Buner, KP
- Chairman (UC Kalpani, UC Amnural, UC Kalyari) Tehsil Office, District Buner, KP
- Mayor Office Tehsil Gagra, District Buner, KP
Sustaining Impact Beyond Project Closure
Ensuring enduring health and hygiene benefits, our robust referral mechanism guarantees continuous activities post-project. With the project concluded, the Office of the District Education Officer has directed School Heads to uphold bi-annual health sessions, affirming our commitment to lasting impact. The established referral system ensures ongoing treatment for school children, securing a resilient legacy well beyond project timelines.
Strengthening HDF's Organizational Capacity
With insights from a meticulous third-party Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA) commissioned by USAID, HDF has seamlessly bridged the identified organizational gaps. Our commitment to growth and excellence continues through capacity-building initiatives for HDF staff members under the NPI EXPAND umbrella.
Our ongoing Organizational Capacity Strengthening spans over crucial areas, including:
- NGO Sustainability: Equipping our team to plan for sustainable impact.
- USAID Rules & Regulations: Ensuring precision and compliance in all endeavors.
- MEAL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, Learning): Enhancing our ability to measure and improve outcomes.
- Indirect Cost Recovery: Maximizing efficiency in resource utilization.
- USAID Proposal Development: Crafting compelling proposals for future impactful projects.
- Writing and Communication: Sharpening our ability to convey our message effectively.
- Gender Mainstreaming: Integrating gender perspectives for inclusive programs.
- Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition: Focusing on crucial health aspects for ensuring comprehensive well-being of the community.